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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Kiesel SCB7 Single-Cutaway Bevel-Top Guitar SN:125037,... (Review)

Reviewed By: Rosario Panzarella
Purchased from: on loan from Manufacturer
Street Price: $1,389 USD  + case & shipping

For almost 70 years, Kiesel and Carvin Guitars have been building high-quality guitars, basses, pickups, part necks and accessories for pro and hobbyist musicians alike. And because they sell directly to the customer, with no middle man, we offer much higher value with products that would sell for 2 to 3 times more if we sold through retail stores. They are based out of San Diego, CA

This Kiesel SCB7 25.5" scale ebony fingerboard Abalone dot inlays "M" bridge, with tune-o-matic bridge and strings fed through the body Premium locking tuners 24 Stainless steel med jumbo frets, Set Neck-through design 5 piece maple neck with black limba stripes featuring the "Rapid Play" low action neck.

"M" bridge, with tune-o-matic bridge and strings fed through the body Standard headstock 4 X 3 pointed 7-string style hipshot locking tuners, (1) volume (1) tone knob and a 5-way selector switch with black toggle.

Matching set of Kiesel direct-mount K14 humbucker pickups with (2) 500k pots on a 5-way selector.


Amp used:
Fuchs Mantis JR 100w

Cable used:

Strings used:
Von York Kelvinite

Pick used:
Von York 1.5 Nylon

Selector position 1: Just Neck
A very natural sounding vintage PAF with a modern finish giving the player a loose vintage tone with a tight finish. Excellent for jazz when clean but clear and crisp for thick chunky rhythm tones for the modern metal/progressive player. 

Selector position 2: Just Neck Split
A fat single coil that offers a traditional "S-style" guitar sounds with some added compression with the neck through design. Great for when you want to dial it back or get a "woody" vintage tone.    

Selector position 3: Both Full Humbuckers
An even balance between the neck and bridge with slightly more of the upper frequency clarity you get for just the bridge. This was great for a fuller/thicker lead tone with the volume knob maxed, but cleaned up nicely when rolled back for a brighter rhythm tone.    

Selector position 4: Just Bridge Split 
A fat "S-style" guitar bridge with some added compression from the neck through design. When hit hard, there was hints of a P90 growl on the bottom end making this a very usable lead tone.  

Selector position 5:  Just Bridge
A "rip your face off and laugh about" it metal lead tone that retained it's player touch sensitivity and dynamic response when played even with the heaviest distortion, but was also a very usable rock tone when dialed back. 

Action, Fit & Finish:
The finish is a stunning translucent moss green with blackburst edging on an AAAA quilted maple top. The action was low without any fret buzz and the intonation was dead on.

Reliability & Durability:
This guitar is well made -- it is solid through and through. There was no hum or crackles from the electronics and all knobs and hardware were installed snug and proper. 

This guitar was shipped in an excellent rectangular box that contained the Ultimate soft guitar case. I had never seen this case before and I am always leery about soft cases; however, I must admit this case was as sturdy as a lot of hard cases on the market today. Impressively well built with space saving design, this case makes me rethink what my previous opinions of soft cases are. Opening the soft case reveals the SCB7 which is a stunning translucent moss green finish.  The first thing I notice is the fine detail and the blackburst edging – a nice touch for a totally badass look. This is a single-cut bevel top with a neck through design. This beauty weighs in at 8.5 lbs and feels very balanced when wearing this on my body with comfortable distribution whether sitting or standing. I like to test guitars without an amp to see how they “feel,” and I would say that this guitar felt great. If you’re not used to playing a seven string it can be a little off putting, but once I was acclimated to where the B string was, I was able to chord normally and effortlessly. In fact, after spending about 3 hours with this guitar, I was officially sold on playing more than 6 strings. This guitar’s black limba wood had a resonance that I could feel through my body. As each chord I played reverberated through me I only wanted to play it more, and I hadn't even plugged it in yet. I just played and played and played this guitar.  Much like catching up with an old friend, time passed and good times were had. 

What I would change:
Not a damn thing.

My advice:
You really want to play this guitar.  It’s hard to explain it, but once you pick it up it’s like a party that you don’t want to walk away from. The SCB7 was an incredible guitar to play, and it inspired me to write a few new songs.  In my humble opinion any guitar that can help inspire you and keep you playing is a priceless addition to your family.

12340 World Trade Drive
San Diego, CA 92128-3742
Phone: (858) 484-8277    

Fax: (858) 487-8160

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Posted 05/2015
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